what can I do to get my unresolvable internet connection issue resolved?
December 4, 2016 6:48 PM   Subscribe

I am trapped in Time Warner Cable (or Spectrum) purgatory and seemingly unable to escape. I am at my wits end. What can I do?

For over the past six weeks I have been experiencing frequent service issues with my internet connection. My service provider is Time Warner Cable/Spectrum and I am a Brooklyn resident. I have a 100Mbps download connection and it frequently drops to unusable speeds, somewhere between .5 and 2.5Mbps.

I have had two technicians and one senior foreman at my apartment. Two of the three have said the issue is emanating from outside my apartment building.

I have also spoke with upwards of eight technical reps via phone, and I get the impression none of them fully understand the issue.

Through out these interactions, I am either given misinformation or told “another department” needs to handle it. I am met with incompetence every step of the way as I try to get this resolved.

I have easily spent nine to ten fruitless hours of my life on this issue, either sitting on phone calls or waiting at home while away from work for technicians to show up. I can't seem to actually talk to someone who knows what is wrong, and when it will/if be fixed. It’s pretty anger inducing.

My questions are:

- Considering the internet is considered a utility by the FCC, what are my rights? Is there any sort of legal action I can take?
- What will get the attention of TWC/Spectrum management to say this is unacceptable?

Thanks for your help.
posted by helios410 to Technology (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
No solution, but just wanted to note that I have been having similar problems in BK. When it happens, I will get the same sluggish download speeds: ~0.5Mbps. However, when I check my upload speeds, they will be normal: ~5Mbps (which is what I have on my particular contract).

I use my own Arris Surfboard cable modem and have a wireless router connected to that. Restarting the cable modem typically seems to resolve the problem -- which just means unplugging it, waiting a few seconds, and plugging it back in.

While that has typically resolved the situation you described with the sluggish download speeds, I have also had numerous situations recently where things would drop out completely and it would only seem to come back after several hours.

I think it must have something to do with content coming from TWC, because an odd example is where my TV service (over Roku) completely drops out. For example, I was watching SNL on the TWC app and it dropped out completely for hours. However, I was able to use the NBC app and stream the same content from them which would lead me to think that there are problems with how TWC (or Spectrum) or whatever is serving content. The problem is the same even after changing my DNS settings. Also, during several of these episodes I have checked to Twitter to find other users in Brooklyn complaining at the same time.
posted by This_Will_Be_Good at 7:21 PM on December 4, 2016

Oh, and I added the whole "have you tried turning it off and on again?" note not to be funny but because there seems to be no obvious restart/reboot option in the modem web interface and the modem itself doesn't seem to have any buttons. And 9 times out of 10, after dealing with TWC customer service they will just remotely reboot the modem. This also seems to be the first thing the troubleshooting option does in the TWC iPhone app. So, it just seems to save a lot of time clearing out whatever kruft might be causing that downstream logjam coming into the modem.
posted by This_Will_Be_Good at 7:44 PM on December 4, 2016

Are you torrenting when this happens?
posted by srboisvert at 9:03 PM on December 4, 2016

@This_Will_Be_Good - yes, similar situation indeed. However it happens frequently - at least once a day. IMO that's unacceptable for what someone has to pay for 100Mbps down.

@srboisvert - No, I have not torrented while this issue has been present.
posted by helios410 at 4:22 AM on December 5, 2016

Two of the three have said the issue is emanating from outside my apartment building.

This happened to me a few years ago with Comcast in the Midwest. I finally got action when I made the purpose of my call NOT about the connectivity issue but about the service issue. "Can you see how many times I have called you recently? You can? How can we escalate this issue to get a resolution?" They did escalate, and the problem was resolved with two more visits, both inside of a week.

The first visit was to sort out the rat's nest of connections in the box on the building, giving me my own dedicated connection. When that did not resolve the problem, they went further back along the line, to a splicer on the telephone pole in the back alley. It looked like this black box thing. Re-calibrating that did the trick, and I was never bothered again.

(I never understood why I was the only customer affected, since the splicer served many other customers, too.)
posted by Short Attention Sp at 5:27 AM on December 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

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